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What Issues Will Parents Need to Address in a Joint Parenting Agreement?

Posted on in Kane County divorce attorney

Wheaton family lawyer for Joint Parenting Agreements

When parents get divorced, decisions related to child custody will be some of the most important issues that they will need to address. In a previous blog, we looked at how a joint parenting agreement will need to include details about legal and physical custody of children. However, in addition to these larger issues, a parenting plan will need to address multiple other details about how parents will work together to raise their children going forward. By understanding what a parenting agreement will include, parents can make sure they will be prepared to address ongoing concerns related to their children in the years to come.

Additional Terms of a Parenting Agreement

In addition to making decisions about the allocation of decision-making responsibilities and including schedules for parenting time, a parenting agreement will address issues such as:

  • Child support - Both parents will have the obligation to provide financial support to meet their children’s needs. In many cases, the parent with the majority of the parenting time will receive child support payments from the other parent. However, in shared parenting cases where children will spend similar amounts of time with each parent, the obligations for each parent may be modified based on the other parent’s percentage of parenting time. A parenting agreement will also specify how parents will divide certain types of child-related expenses, including health insurance, educational costs, childcare, and extracurricular activities.

  • Child-related tax credits - Since only one parent can claim a child as a dependent and receive the associated tax credits, a parenting agreement will need to specify how these tax benefits will be allocated. When parents have multiple children, each parent may have the right to claim one child as a dependent, or parents may alternate claiming one or more children each year.

  • Right of first refusal - Parents may want to make sure that children will be in the care of a parent whenever possible, so they may need to address situations where one parent will be unavailable during their scheduled parenting time. By including the right of first refusal in their parenting plan, they will state that before making arrangements to have children be cared for by another party, a parent must first contact the other parent to see if they are available to care for the children. While right of first refusal is not required by Illinois law, it is an option that is available if parents are in agreement about how these matters should be handled.

  • Transportation - Parents will need to make sure they understand how transportation arrangements will be handled when transferring children between their homes. This will avoid any confusion about whether children will be picked up or dropped off at the beginning or end of a parent’s parenting time. A parenting agreement may also address transportation arrangements in other situations, such as whether parents will pick up or drop off children at school or how children will be transported to different activities they participate in.

  • Any other rules or allowances - Parents can use their parenting plan to detail any rules that apply to them or their children. For example, parents may agree on appropriate forms of discipline or how they will ensure that children are completing homework assignments. A parenting agreement can also address other issues that may affect the parents or children, such as when children will be able to visit with extended family members.

Contact Our St. Charles Parenting Plan Attorneys

During your divorce, you and your spouse can create a parenting plan that fits your family’s unique needs, while ensuring that the two of you will be able to work together to provide for your children’s best interests. At Goostree Law Group, we can help you determine what should be included in your parenting plan, and we will help you reach agreements with your spouse as you work to complete the divorce process. To arrange a complimentary consultation, contact our Kane County parenting agreement lawyers at 630-584-4800.

Source:

 

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8300000&SeqEnd=10000000

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